The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks made a deal yesterday that sent Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to the Canucks for Daniel Rahimi and Patrick White. What this basically was is a salary dump for the San Jose Sharks to setup further deals down the line. The Sharks now have cap space to setup a deal for a larger player, mainly Dany Heatley. The Sharks have 17 players under contract with $4 million in cap space. On the flip side, with this deal the Canucks have seven defensemen. On top of this, the Canucks signed Mathieu Schneider which brings them up to eight defensemen. This now gives the Canucks eight defensemen, six of which make $2.75 million or more and puts them $2 million over the cap. The Sharks need players and now have the cap space to work with and should be a major player in the Heatley deal. The main question is where are the extra defensemen going to for the Canucks and will the Sharks still need to make more deals to fill out their roster. Following the jump, we take a look if the Sabres can be a player in any of this.
The Canucks have eight defensemen and are almost $2 million over the cap. At this point they would need to move at least one defenseman but most likely two. The Sabres are stocked with talent at defense and the defenders that we would want to get rid of are within the $2.5-3 million range which would not work for the Canucks. The Canucks have 13 forwards and still could be looking for a good second or third line winger. With their signing of Mikael Samuelsson, they have a good right winger to compliment the Sedin twins but I feel that they will need some more offensive firepower on the wing. While the Canucks most likely would not be interested in Hecht, would they be interested in a trade and sign with Stafford.
The Sharks are factored to be the main player to be getting Dany Heatley as they were rumored earlier in the week to be apart of a three team deal. This extra cap space will give them that chance but depending on how many players they receive in that deal, they are still going to have to fill in their roster. In this case, any deal with the Sharks is most likely going to be a player for picks/prospect deal. They currently have five defensemen on their roster and would be looking for a second or third pairing defender in a deal. Henrik Tallinder would be the perfect player to complement that defense as a stay at home defender, but it would also signal that the organization has faith in one of our prospects on defense, either Weber or Myers.
All in all, after throwing around ideas for trades with these two teams, there really isn't much that the Sabres can do to work a deal that would work for both teams. Neither team is in a position to take dead weight off our hands and we are not in a position to really send players to them. Either team is going to have their eyes on a player like Stafford and I do not feel that the Sabres are ready to give him up yet. I also feel that while Mike Weber may be NHL ready, Tyler Myers will need to prove himself in training camp to show that he is NHL ready. Unfortunately for him, if he cannot do this, he would be forced to play another year in juniors rather than heading to the AHL.